A newly licensed and fully operational Kirkland Lake cannabis grower is positioning itself to cater to women's health and wellness products.
Well ahead of the federal legalization date on Oct. 17, Alison Gordon, CEO of 48North Cannabis Corp., has been doing some advance work to finalize some partnership deals with major manufacturers in the area of food, cosmetics and skin care.
"Nothing I can announce just yet but we will be announcing very soon about our partnerships with mainstream consumer packaged goods companies who bring the expertise and know-how on formulation, manufacturing, packaging, production, and can be a best in class on those products," she said.
48North Cannabis Corp. is the parent company of DelShen Therapeutics, which announced in late 2015 that it had bought and was retrofitting a former government tree nursery near the northeastern Ontario gold mining town to be a future producer of pharmaceutical-grade medical marijuana.
It signed a community benefits agreement with nearby Wahgoshig First Nation, which is a shareholder.
On an 800-acre site, their modern 40,000-square-foot indoor growing facility has a production capacity of 2,500 kilograms per year, which can be expanded to boost that to 40,000 kilograms annually.
Now in full commercial mode, the company sources its genetic material from a supplier in the Netherlands.
Gordon said they've done "many, many harvests" since receiving a federal cultivation licence in February 2017. The crop is stored in a vault on the site.
June was a busy month for 48North.
With the rigorous Health Canada inspections and approvals process out of the way, 48North was awarded a federal sales licence for dried cannabis, cannabis plants and seeds on June 25, preceded by a listing on the TSX Venture Exchange on June 11 under the symbol "NRTH."
As Canadian cannabis companies jockey for market position heading into legalization this fall, the company intends to differentiate itself from the herd and promote itself as a trusted brand in the lifestyle category.
"For us, it's really about creating products, brand, content that speaks to women and their needs, and addresses some of their health and wellness concerns whether that's menstrual cramps or stress. It's just about having a platform for women to feel comfortable and safe in what they're using and trying."
Using different oil extraction processes, those products can take the form of edibles, vape pens, skin care creams and cosmetics.